“You learn something new everyday.” A saying I’m sure we are all familiar with. Well, I must say, I believe this to be true. I think we gain knowledge every single day, whether it’s how to change your oil, or discovering something new about a friend. The thing I wonder is what kind of learning are we doing? Is it head knowledge, or heart knowledge…let me explain.
Head knowledge can be most easily thought of as information and facts. It is the type of learning that does not involve much more than memorization or repetition. Head knowledge does not go much further than your head, it helps you accomplish tasks, it generally does not change your character.
Heart knowledge is the type of learning that involves your entire being. It is when you discover something that impacts you and the way you act. When you learn with your heart you cannot help but alter the way you think, live, act, and believe.
Personally I believe that we know the difference very much so between head and heart knowledge. However, I am convinced that we seldom allow head knowledge to become heart knowledge. You see, if we really do learn things every day, then are we consistently letting what we learn impact how we live? Or are we satisfied with settling for the mediocre surface knowledge of something instead of embracing the facts and letting them truly mold our hearts? I mean, I can know the God loves me in my head, after all it does say that in the Bible over and over again [John 3:16 anyone?] but have we ever really let that knowledge, the fact that He loves us enough to die for us, really affect our heart and our life? Do you allow Him to change the way you live? Or are you content in just knowing that He loves you when in reality you have the opportunity to experience His love if/when you allow your head knowledge to morph into heart knowledge?
If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, and it’s turned fairly serious, there’s a good chance you’ve heard me say something about the “twelve-inch journey.” What I’m talking about is the journey of your head knowledge becoming your heart knowledge. You see, it’s a really difficult journey, and it’s only 12 inches. You might not believe just how hard of a journey these 12 inches can be, but I can almost guarantee that it will be one of the hardest journeys you ever partake in, if not the hardest. Why? Because actually believing something in your heart verses your head is difficult. It’s not a convincing-yourself-issue, it’s an actual-heart-wrenching-change that takes place and affects everything you know and believe. When you have previously had head knowledge, but then are taken on a journey that changes the understanding into heart knowledge you literally change. Your perspective on that area of life is altered, you are possibly more positive about that situation, typically you realize how lacking your head knowledge was in that area of your life.
For me the biggest area of growth in head-heart knowledge has been regarding my relationship with the Lord. I have always known that the Lord has a plan for my life, because that’s what I have read over and over again in Scripture [can you say “Jeremiah 29:11”?]. But you see, I never actually believed that wholistically until a few months ago when I started trying new foods. God has really shown me that He has a plan for my life—one that involves surrender. What I have realized is that I am not in control, rather the Lord is guiding me and helping me throughout my life journey. I used to have a head knowledge that God loved me and had a plan for my life, but I was living as if I was the one in control. I was depending on myself to come up with the answers and what I need to do with my future. I only had head knowledge that God would guide and direct my path, but it was not until I fully surrendered myself and my will that I began discovering that the Lord really does guide and direct my life. I began releasing my grip on the reigns and He began delighting my heart with His strength. I realized that when I shut up I can hear the words He has always been speaking. It might seem like an obvious thing, but until I allowed Him to change my head knowledge of the situation into heart knowledge, nothing in my life changed. Finally though when I surrendered my own desires, He began revealing my true passions and I began discovering just how wonderful His plan is for my life.
In Isaiah 58 it is talking about true fasting, and how the people physically fast and obey the Lord yet with their actions they do not glorify Him but rather do whatever they please. I was thinking about this passage in light of a head and heart knowledge, and the difference between saying you believe something verses living out what you claim to believe. I think that more often than not in our Christian lives we claim to know God but only have a head knowledge or a head relationship, whereas when we actually do what He says we have a heart knowledge and understanding of His calling on our lives. So I challenge you to think about where in your life you need a head-heart change. What area(s) needs a deeper understanding or change? How can the Lord mold and shape your heart into a better understanding of Himself?
Are you willing to let Him change your life? Are you willing to partake on a 12-inch journey? Only you can decide…